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Domenica and Tania

Domenica and Tania were high school teachers at the same level of seniority. Domenica had worked at the school for many years whereas Tania had only started the year before.

Tania requested mediation with Domenica because she was unhappy with Domenica�s attitude and behaviour towards her. She felt Domenica acted as if she were Tania�s superior � she constantly gave her directions on how she should run her classes and would not listen to Tania�s ideas to make the syllabus more interesting. If Tania challenged Domenica�s directions or made any suggestions of her own, Domenica would refuse to discuss the issue, walk away and ignore Tania for rest of the day.

At the mediation, Domenica was able to express how she felt.  Whenever the issues came up at school she felt too upset and angry to communicate and could only walk away. Domenica felt Tania did not respect her expertise and experience. She didn�t take the time to learn about the school but had come and tried to change everything at once without knowing enough about the history and dynamics of the school. Tania was able to understand Domenica�s feelings and let Domenica know that she did respect her. She was also able to tell Domenica that she wanted to contribute and not be treated as a junior colleague just because she was new.

The two mediators helped Domenica and Tania to speak and listen to each other. Once they understood each other�s perspectives, both Domenica and Tania felt less defensive and were able to develop some strategies to help them to work together for the benefit of the children and the school.